Today, I want to talk about the pain of discipline versus the pain of regret. It’s ironic that many of us love to live in the here and now, to live in the moment, and for the moment. This actually translates to what is referred to in a sociological spectrum as “culture of poverty.” Right, so with this phrase now firmly entrenched in your mind, as I love to play word games with anyone reading my works, I’m now going to scare the living daylights out of you by properly defining why this is called culture of poverty. In a culture of poverty, we speak of living in the moment and for the moment, as mentioned above. However, it also means we tend to lack discipline, or the supposedly rough “pain of discipline.” In other words, most of us tend to do what is easy in favor of doing what is right. Yet when we look back on our lack of discipline one day, week, month, or year from now, we’re kicking ourselves for failing to see things through because that pain of regret so very supersedes pain of discipline.
Consider yourselves lucky to have found a health and fitness guru who speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Jesus spoke of Hell in the afterlife, and Todd speaks of your own personal demons in the physical realm. In a way, aren’t they so very alike? In both ways, isn’t this really falling prey to the Devil? Really, really think about it, because what are we doing in favor of training and eating properly? We’re either engaging in non-physical activity, such as internet surfing, watching television, relaxing after a work day, eating junk food, drinking alcoholic beverages, partying, barhopping, and doing anything and everything detrimental to our health and fitness goals. In other words, we’re doing what is easy only to face that regret at a later date and when we do so, we’re flat out miserable at ourselves, angry at the world because somehow our own self-righteousness blames society for these mishaps, and we end up failing to take personal responsibility and end up falling deeper into despair for our own shortcomings when all we needed was a little bit of discipline and accountability.
Everybody wants a fit body and a healthy lifestyle, but nobody wants to put in the work necessary to get there. With that said, we often fall for fad diets, shortcuts, bogus products, tourist trainers (trainers who undercut costs to put clients in cookie-cutter programs), and free solutions online that are also cookie-cutter. In other words, people selling these shorthanded products and services realize natural human desire is taking the easy way out and they capitalize on just that. However, we want to combat this by conquering our pain of discipline so we no longer have regret that only causes us to fall deeper into our very own self-made depressive state because we were too lazy to do what it took to get the job done.
First off, you need a plan of action, and many people tend to set themselves up for failure before they even begin. Why? They fail to simply write down their goals. What do they want to achieve? Write it down, find your inspiration, and make sure both items are next to you at any given time you feel your discipline starting to slide. Pen the goals, find others who have been in the same situation you’ve been in, use them as motivation, and turn this ship in the right direction! That’s step one.
Secondly, you’ve attempted to do this on your own how many times? Has it worked? And if so, has it worked long term? That third question is going to be a ‘no’ even if you falsely answer ‘yes.’ The reason being is because you wouldn’t be searching for yet another solution if what you were doing was working long term. So, you need to be honest with yourself in this moment of truth and answer ‘no’ to either question two or question three. So stop lying to yourself and take responsibility. At this point, I couldn’t care less if you had lack of support, because all you have to do is step into a gym with a sound club culture, supportive staff, and friendly atmosphere. That may be your only support system, but it’s all you need. If family, friends, peers, and co-workers fail to support you, find someone who does. They’re out there, you just have to find them for yourself and when you do, they’ll be more than glad to help you out. When you feel your discipline slip, they are people to turn to.
All of us need people to hold us accountable. If you’ve tried and failed in the past, it’s time to find someone to hold you accountable, put you on an individualized program that fits your needs, and do exactly what they say. Even if someone you know disagrees with the methods or if you fail to agree with the methods, do what they say, because they’re more likely to be more right than your own, potentially biased judgement. So stick by what they say at all times. They’re here to help and give you direction. It’s your job to follow it.
After a while, that pain of discipline is no longer a pain, but the pain of regret becomes a cancer. Why? Because now you can tell your non-fitness-oriented friends, family, peers, and co-workers ‘no’ when they try to invite you to go out for drinks and appetizers on a Friday night. Instead, you have a workout to do and that’s another opportunity to better yourself and make progress. You’ll be seeing that progress, and that former burden of discipline turns into motivation to get in and get a good, solid workout in, each and every time you step into a gym. You look forward to your healthier, nutritionally-dense meals in favor of food that is going to hurt your health and your goals. You take progress pictures of yourself on a routine basis and maybe you’ll end up being the motivator for someone else who needs it, causing a potential domino effect.
Sure, my truth can sting some and maybe even inadvertently divide people for a time, but it’s for the better. But you need to stop listening to everyone else and finally buckle down and get started, because the greatest show on earth is seeing your body change week to week, month to month, and year to year. You need to stop talking about it and start doing.